Best Kayak Outriggers of 2021

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Do you struggle to keep the balance in the kayak while fishing? Do you wish for your craft to be more stable? If this is your case, then a kayak outrigger is what you need. These little fellas will solve most of your stability problems by boosting buoyancy. 

There are many options available in the market. You can even make a stabilizer kit yourself! However, we don’t recommend it as you can’t put a price on safety. That’s why we took the time to search, test, and ask around for the best kayak stabilizers. After a lot of time, we find out that Hobie Sidekick Ama to be the best option. It has everything you need. Plus, it promises many years of operation.

But if you are a little short on cash, then the Lixada Kayak Stabilization System is also a good option. And, for those looking for a solid kayak outrigger, the Pactrade Marine Kayak PVC Outrigger is the best model you can find. 

Anyway, let’s take some time to take a look at the rest of the options. You will also find a guide on what to look for when buying a kayak stabilizer and the answer to some common questions at the end of the review.

Let’s dive right into it. 

10 Best Kayak Outriggers Reviewed

Hobie Sidekick Ama Outrigger Set

Features: 

  • Dimensions (inches): 29 x 9 x 3
  • Weight (Pounds): 5
  • PVC Construction 
  • Rust-resistant aluminum crossbars
  • Adjustable height

Although it is an expensive stabilizer, the Hobie Sidekicks Ama gets the job done. Its 29 x 9 x 3 inches floats are of heavy-duty PCV. They look like they can handle the strain easily. In any case, Hobie added a couple of repair patches just in case. 

The aluminum crossbar features a rust-resistant coating. Thus, you can use the Sidekick Ama anywhere you like. Installing them takes a couple of minutes, thanks to the bolts and expanding well nuts that come with your purchase. 

The height of the float is adjustable as well! It only takes a couple of seconds to swap between the low, medium, and high profiles. Each float comes with a Boston valve for quick inflation. Just like before, it only takes about a minute to fully deflate the floats. 

Apart from the price, the weight was the thing we disliked the most. We find it too heavy compared with other options. 

Pros:

  • Puncture-resistant frame
  • Adjustable height
  • Quick installation 

Cons: 

  • Weight 

Lixada Kayak Stabilization System

Features: 

  • Dimensions (inches): 35 x 10.8
  • Weight (Pounds): 2.6
  • PVC Construction 
  • 40-inch aluminum crossbars

Starting this review, we have the Lixada kayak outrigger. It has a PVC construction with two valves. The first, a Boston Valve, makes inflating easy. It only takes a few breaths to fill it completely. The second valve allows a quick air release so you can deflate them in a blink of an eye.

The stabilization system is available in four colors: Blue, grey, white, and yellow. All of them retail for the same price. Naturally, all options come with the same installation kit. 

Each balloon is 35 inches long. The flat bottom enhances stability but creates some drag. But it is the price you have to pay. Plus, the aluminum sidekicks are durable and easy to install on the kayak. Sadly, the bars aren’t adjustable. You might have to make some tweaks to install the outrigger in any craft different from a sit-on-top kayak. 

You get four repair patches with your purchase. This way, you can repair your floats if they ever get pierced. Something that could happen given that they are not that sturdy. You can always get a new set if they get damaged beyond repair. 

Pros:

  • It comes with repair patches
  • Quick inflating and deflating 
  • Easy to install

Cons: 

  • It is not compatible with all kayaks
  • The floats are not that strong 

Pactrade Marine Kayak PVC Outrigger

Features: 

  • Dimensions (inches): 27 x 5 x 5
  • Weight (Pounds): 5
  • PVC Solid Construction 
  • Aluminum crossbars

Slightly different from the rest, the Pactrade Marine PVC outrigger is the ideal choice for those looking for a non-inflatable stabilizer. Like before, the floats have a solid PVC construction. There is no need to inflate them before use. So, forget about repair kits because they won’t get pierced by anything. The only problem is that they don’t pack as small as an inflatable model. 

The rest of the hardware is as sturdy as the pontoons. Two aluminum arms keep them tied to the kayak. Plus, the fiber-reinforced lock nuts and mounts keep everything in place even in the toughest of situations. You can adjust the height and position of the floats using the two plastic knobs. 

Each junction has a tiny red button. You can quickly detach the aluminum arms by pressing them. So, as you might imagine, removing the stabilizers takes only a minute or so. 

Although it has a solid structure, the Pectrade Marine only weighs around 5 pounds. The same as the previous two we’ve reviewed, with the added advantage of needing no air.

Pros: 

  • Adjustable height and position
  • Non-inflatable
  • Quick-release buttons 

Cons: 

  • It takes more space 
  • The knobs are delicate 

Scotty Kayak Stabilizer System

Sale

Features: 

  • Dimensions (inches): 34 x 11 x 11
  • Weight (Pounds): 5
  • PVC Construction 
  • Anodized aluminum crossbars

Coming all the way from Canada, we have the Scotty 302 kayak stabilizer. Both pontoons have a PVC construction. The extra thick outer shell prevents punctures and enhances durability even further. 

Attaching the bars is remarkably easy. It only takes some holes, screws, and you are ready to paddle. Sadly, you can neither adjust the bars nor the floats. Everything fits in place without too much effort. 

You also get a set of rod holders with your purchase! That’s why it is an ideal option for anglers who are starting their kayak fishing journey. Nevertheless, we missed the repair patches. You have to purchase them separately as they don’t come with your purchase. The good news is that they are stronger than any of the other stabilizers we’ve reviewed thus far. 

The valve is another downside. It is not near as easy as any of the other options. But it is something that you have to deal with for this kind of durability. 

Pros: 

  • Very thick
  • Provides 30 pounds of buoyancy 
  • It comes with rod holders 

Cons: 

  • It is difficult to inflate
  • It doesn’t come with repair patches 

HAN XIU Kayak Inflatable Outrigger

Features: 

  • Dimensions (inches): 35 x 11
  • Weight (Pounds): 6.7
  • PVC Construction 
  • Aluminum crossbars

The HAN XIU is a suitable candidate for those looking to stay close to the 100 bucks mark. It has a white PVC construction. It doesn’t look as durable as other inflatable outriggers here. So, you must be extra careful when handling the floats, especially when deflated. Unfortunately, HAN XIU didn’t add repair patches. 

Installing the stabilizer kit takes a few drills on the kayak. Once done, you can adjust how close you want the pontoons to the craft by turning multiple knobs. While the structure is rigid and strong, we are a little worried about the joint of the float. They don’t look that sturdy. We think that they could bend under a heavy load. 

Another issue that we found is in the valve. It is easy to inflate. But it doesn’t hold air that well. Fortunately, you won’t get a flat as it takes quite some time. Still, it is something to look out for. 

Dimension-wise, the HAN XIU inflatable outrigger is 35.4 inches long and 11 inches tall. On the other hand, the whole kit weighs around 6.7 pounds, more than any other option thus far. 

Pros: 

  • It is adjustable 
  • Thick and durable aluminum bars 
  • Easy to inflate 

Cons:

  • The valve lets the air escape 
  • No repair kits

METER STAR Kayaking Stabilizing Floats 

Features: 

  • Dimensions (inches): 34.5 x 7.8 x 7.3
  • Weight (Pounds): 2.6
  • PVC Construction 

Let’s start by saying that these are only the floats. It doesn’t include anything else. Thus, it is only suitable for those who already have the bars. Allegedly, it works with most aftermarket bars. But we are yet to test it. METER STAR sells a set of bars separately if you don’t have them. 

The construction is fairly similar to what we’ve seen before. That is a white PVC frame with bottom stitches. The points have an extra layer to improve durability and puncture resistance. The good news is that METER STAR added four repair patches with the kit. Thus, even if you get a flat, you can easily fix it. 

The ABS plastic valve has remarkable abrasion resistance and seals the float tight, letting no air escape. The one-way valve makes things easy during inflation. Turn it to open it completely once you are done, releasing the air in a couple of seconds. 

Pros: 

  • Universal fit 
  • It comes with repair patches
  • It doesn’t increase the drag as much as other models 
  • The valve allows quick inflation and deflation 

Cons: 

  • It doesn’t come with bars
  • The joints look flimsy 

DYRABREST 2Pcs Inflatable Kayak Outrigger

Features: 

  • Dimensions (inches): 35 x 10 x 10
  • Weight (Pounds): 2.6
  • Aluminum hardware 
  • PVC Construction 

Offering the best bang for your buck, we have these floats by DYRABREST. As you might expect, they have PVC construction. It looks flimsy, and let us tell you that it is. However, you can’t complain at this price point. 

There is also a problem with the aluminum bars. While they fit tightly to the craft, there is some noticeable play between the bar and the float. So, it is not as stable as other, more expensive models. That’s why we don’t suggest using it outside calm waters. 

Rigging everything takes only a couple of minutes. The central rack allows you to adjust the outriggers’ proximity. It only takes a couple of twists, and that’s it. 

The Boston valve allows quick inflation and deflation of the float. We were surprised by the fact that it retains air quite well. The pressure doesn’t drop whatsoever. Yes, it is supposed to be that way. But keep in mind that most kayak stabilizers are well beyond the 100 bucks. So, it is a pleasant surprise to find an all-around budget option. 

Pros:

  • Superb value for your money
  • Easy to set up 
  • Adjustable
  • Lightweight

Cons: 

  • Flimsy
  • There is some play between the arms and the floats 

SALALIS Portable Kayak Stabilizer

Features: 

  • Dimensions (inches): 35 x 7.8 x 7.8
  • Weight (Pounds): 6.55
  • PVC inflatable floats  
  • Aluminum crossbars

Suitable for multiple crafts, the SALALIS kayak outrigger presents itself as a candidate. It is available in white, yellow, and blue. We don’t know why, but white is the cheapest color by far.

The kayak stabilizer kit has everything you need: 2 PVC floats, arms, central bar, screws, plates, and joints. You also get four PVC patches in case you ever get a flat. 

You can inflate the floats using the built-in Boston valve. It takes a few breaths to achieve the desired pressure. Tuning the valve will let the air escape quickly too. So, the SALALIS takes no time to set up, provided that you’ve fixed the central bar, of course. Sadly, you can’t adjust anything. And that’s our biggest issue. Paying a top price should come with its perks, like adjusting the height and position of the floats. 

Everything else works as you expect. It enhances stability even in the toughest waters. Plus, it is compatible with multiple crafts raging from boats to kayaks and paddleboards. 

Pros:

  • It fits multiple crafts
  • It comes with repair patches 
  • Great for rough waters 

Cons: 

  • It is not adjustable 
  • The screws are too short for some kayaks

DIFU DENESTUS Premium PVC Kayak Inflatable Outrigger

Features: 

  • Dimensions (inches): 35 x 11 x 11
  • Weight (Pounds): 6
  • PVC Solid Construction 
  • Aluminum crossbars

DIFU offers us another inflatable kayak outrigger for under 100 dollars with everything you need. It packs two 35 x 11 PVC flotas, two 39.8-inch aluminum rods, and a single central aluminum bar. 

The thing that makes this inflatable stabilizer different is that the floats look like a banana. It has pointy ends, which make it more likely to tear. Thankfully, DIFU added an extra PVC layer at both ends for better endurance. 

Another difference we’ve spotted is that the Boston valve is mounted on the side rather than on top. Though, there shouldn’t be any difference in terms of performance. On the other hand, the rubber joints fit tightly into the aluminum arms. There is no noticeable play between them. 

Although it is cheaper than most high-end inflatable kayak outriggers, it holds well under heavy load. We notice that they added about 30 pounds of extra buoyancy, which is great considering the price. 

Pros: 

  • Provides great buoyancy even under heavy load
  • Strong rubber joints 
  • Easy to inflate and deflate 

Cons: 

  • The pointy ends are a concern in terms of durability
  • It comes with no repair patches 

LYNICESHOP Kayak Inflatable Outrigger

Features: 

  • Dimensions (inches): 35 x 14 x 14
  • Weight (Pounds): 6.4
  • PVC Solid Construction 
  • Aluminum crossbars

Last but not least, the LYNICESHOP stabilizer. It retails for around 75 bucks, making it an ideal choice for those looking to get the best value out of their money. It already comes with aluminum rods, a set of screws, and two repair kits. However, we had to contact the seller because our unit didn’t come with the screws. 

The repair kit is another point of concern. While it does come with your purchase, it doesn’t hold that well in time. It is more like a temporary emergency solution. You will need to look elsewhere for something more durable. 

Apart from that, this inflatable kayak stabilizer is everything you would expect. The aluminum hardware handles the strain with ease. Plus, the floats handle rough water quite well. Still, we don’t recommend using them in such a scenario. 

Pros: 

  • Compatible with a wide range of kayaks
  • Great stability in any type of water
  • Sturdy aluminum alloy structure

Cons: 

  • The repair patches are not that durable 

Kayak Stabilizers: All You Need to Know

Although all kayak outriggers look somewhat the same, choosing the right one takes some thought. For instance, it has to be compatible with your craft.

You want something easy to install, something that enhances the balance, and preferably without play. There are other features to pay attention to, such as buoyancy, price, accessories, and construction. 

Construction 

Most kayak stabilizers are either solid or inflatable. The first option is typically cheaper, more portable, and lighter than the latter. However, a solid kayak stabilizer has the obvious advantage of being impossible to puncture. They are ideal for those looking to fish far away from home and for a long time. 

Either way, most stabilizers use PVC to build the float itself and aluminum arms for the structure. Another difference between solid and inflatable kayak stabilizers is the central bar. While most inflatable models are part of a rigid structure, some solid models have independent arms. You can raise or lower them at any time. 

Buoyancy

Buoyancy depends on the volume of water displaced by the float. Thus, more water displaced means more buoyancy. That means that you will be able to haul more weight. Here some people think that the more, the better. But there is a catch. More buoyancy means bigger floats, thereby, the more space the stabilizer takes. 

Adjustability 

Some kayak stabilizers are adjustable, meaning that you can set the height, position, and distance between the float and the craft. Naturally, not all offer the same degree of customization. Nevertheless, it pays to get one with such a feature as these models are more adaptable. 

Accessories 

Most kayak outriggers come with floats, arms, screws, bolts, and nuts. In short, they come with anything you need to rig it. Some models even come with rod holders and even aluminum racks to attach fish finders and similar hardware. 

However, some models only come with floats. You must get an aftermarket set of bars and screws to connect them with the kayak. While these are cheaper, they are not suitable for people without aluminum bars. 

Installation Methods

Kayak stabilizers could be removable or permanently fixed. In the first case, the outrigger only gets attached using deck mounts. But the others require a more permanent solution like drilling new holes in the craft. The good news is that you can always remove the arms for storage. 

FAQs

Are Kayak Stabilizers Worth It?

They are essential for some anglers, while for others, not much. So, it all depends on how you will go on a kayak. Are you new to the art of riding it? Then you might need these little helpers. The same goes for people new to the kayak fishing business and who love to fish by themselves. 

What Are Kayak Outriggers?

They are plastic pieces that you attach to the sides of the kayak to increase stability. They are made out of plastic and boost the buoyancy of the craft, allowing it to handle more weight. 

Think of them as the set of wheels kids use when learning who to ride a bike. They perform the exact same job,

Can I Make DIY Kayak Outriggers?

Well, indigenous people from Polynesia, Fiji, and similar countries manage to create their own stabilizers from scratch. Thus, it shouldn’t be too difficult for you to build a kayak outrigger. Naturally, it will take you some time, money, and patience. Sometimes it might be more expensive than getting it from the market. 

Where Should I Install the Outrigger?

As most kayak stabilizers require practice holes to the kayak, you must be sure where you have to install it before doing anything else. The most important thing to remember is that you must keep the pontoons out of the way of your roar. Thus, the logical place to fix them is at the back of the seat. 

Now, it is crucial to install the central bar without any angle. Otherwise, the floats won’t be aligned, which translates into poor performance. 

Do Kayak Outriggers Increase Drag?

The short answer is yes, kayak outriggers increase drag. Thus, you will need more paddles to get from one place to another. However, you won’t even notice once you’ve got used to it. Besides, it is not that bad either. 

Best Kayak Outrigger: Closing Thoughts 

When it comes down to choosing the best kayak outrigger, we have no doubt. It is the Hobie Sidekick Ama. While it is not the cheapest option, it offers most of the desirable features we look for in a stabilizer. For instance, you can adjust the height of the floats. It also comes with sturdy, anodized aluminum hardware and repair patches. You don’t get to enjoy all these features together in other, cheaper options. 

Moreover, the Hobie Sidekick Ama floats don’t feel as flimsy as other inflatable kayak outriggers. Thus, it is less likely to get punctured. In addition, the Boston valve seals the interior tight, letting no air escape. So, what are you waiting for? Get yours today!

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Hi! I’m Steven!

I am an avid life long fisherman, having caught over 25,000 fish over the years. My life-long passion for fishing began when my father taught me how to fish at the age of ten. I started luremefish.com to share my extensive knowledge of all things fishing.

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